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Clim Change. 2018 Feb;146(3-4):487-500. Epub 2016 Apr 25.

The potential impacts of 21st century climatic and population changes on human exposure to the virus vector mosquito Aedes aegypti.

Author information

1
National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307.
2
University of Arizona, College of Public Health, P.O. Box 245163, Tucson, AZ 85724.
3
University of Washington, School of Public Health, 1705 NE Pacific St, Box 357965, Seattle, WA 98195-7965.
4
City University of New York, CUNY Institute for Demographic Research, 135 East 22 St, New York, NY 10010.

Abstract

The mosquito Aedes (Ae). aegypti transmits the viruses that cause dengue and chikungunya, two globally-important vector-borne diseases. We investigate how choosing alternate emissions and/or socioeconomic pathways may modulate future human exposure to Ae. aegypti. Occurrence patterns for Ae. aegypti for 2061-2080 are mapped globally using empirically downscaled air temperature and precipitation projections from the Community Earth System Model, for the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios. Population growth is quantified using gridded global population projections consistent with two Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), SSP3 and SSP5. Change scenarios are compared to a 1950-2000 reference period. A global land area of 56.9 M km2 is climatically suitable for Ae. aegypti during the reference period, and is projected to increase by 8% (RCP4.5) to 13% (RCP8.5) by 2061-2080. The annual average number of people exposed globally to Ae. aegypti for the reference period is 3794 M, a value projected to statistically significantly increase by 298-460 M (8-12%) by 2061-2080 if only climate change is considered, and by 4805-5084 M (127-134%) for SSP3 and 2232-2483 M (59-65%) for SSP5 considering both climate and population change (lower and upper values of each range represent RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 respectively). Thus, taking the lower-emissions RCP4.5 pathway instead of RCP8.5 may mitigate future human exposure to Ae. aegypti globally, but the effect of population growth on exposure will likely be larger. Regionally, Australia, Europe and North America are projected to have the largest percentage increases in human exposure to Ae. aegypti considering only climate change.

KEYWORDS:

Aedes aegypti; BRACE; Climate change; chikungunya; dengue

PMID:
29610543
PMCID:
PMC5877411

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